Mint Records

Mint Records had a pretty standup year thanks to kick-ass releases by Renny Wilson and Jay Arner but the Vancouver imprint is now looking to garage-pop crew Tough Age to close 2013.

Hardly newbies to the local music scene the band’s members have definitely made the rounds over the years especially frontman Jarrett K. who played in late-great acts like Apollo Ghosts Korean Gut and a pile of other short-lived notables. And that experience shows on their Arner-produced self-titled debut with tracks blistering out with a certain well-placed confidence. They also come with some welcome variety as the songs bounce from jammy Thee Oh Sees-styled rockers (“Coffin Number”) kiwi-pop-tinted psych jams (“Sea Horse”) and bratty Spector punk (“The Heart of Juliet Jones”) wonderfully balancing grit and pop.

The band is entering a current musical climate teeming with countless like-minded acts making it hard for them to stand out amidst the competition. Luckily though Tough Age might just be charming enough to let that slide.